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Archive for the ‘Maps Made’ Category

Q: How were all the example maps in Making Maps created?

A: The primary software I used to create Making Maps was Freehand on a Mac. I learned Illustrator and Freehand in versions 1.0 back in the day while working at the Cartographic Lab at UW Madison. I have always liked Freehand better than Illustrator, despite extensive work with both software packages. Many of the map projections in the book were created in GeoCart, and I used ArcGIS to create a few dozen maps. All were imported into Freehand and redesigned.

The entire book layout and design was done with Freehand – somewhat unconventional. Because the book design and layout I wanted was unusual, I decided to “mock it up” in Freehand, assuming the whole book would be reworked by a professional book designer, sorta following my ideas. In the end, this never happened, my “mock up” is what became the final book layout and design. I think I need to take a book design course, and learn more about typography (I think the typeface and text in the book is one of its weaker points) for the 2nd edition. William Meyer (at Guilford Publications) took the Freehand files, chopped them up into single pages (I did two-page layouts, as facing pages almost always were designed to relate to each other) and converted them to PDF (with surprisingly few problems) and sent them off to the printer.

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Making Real Maps

Q: Did you ever make real maps?

A: Denis makes maps, and had some – from his work in progress on the Boylan Heights neighborhood in Raleigh NC – featured on NPR’s This American Life. A few of his maps are linked there but they ain’t great scans. I will get some better ones and post them here sometime soon. As for me, Making Maps has over 300 maps in it and I made most of them; they sorta count. Below find a few maps I made in the olden days – with scribers, stick-up type, pens and ink, all finished off with photomechanical processes in the dark room. I was the last generation to learn and work with traditional (non digital) map production (late 1980s) and the first to learn and work with computer graphic design software that could make maps as well as the old traditional techniques (Illustrator and Freehand on a Mac).

Da Bomb

Chippewa Moraine Ice Age National Scenic Reserve (1987) was created in David Woodward’s Map Design course at the University of Wisconsin Madison:

Chippewa Moraine Ice Age National Scenic Reserve (1987) David knew how to do shaded relief by hand, with graphite, and showed me how. The glacial terrain on the map was easier than “normal” terrain and the result was not bad (for a beginner). The rest of the map was scribed & used stick-up type. My mom’s family (the Wolf’s) live near the area shown on the map. The map won an Honorable Mention in the 1987 R.R. Donnelly and Sons Map Design Competition (see below for the map that won the competition that year).

Da Bomb

David DiBiase and I created The Flight of Voyager (1987) when we were students at Madison (we both worked in the Cartographic Lab):

The Flight of Voyager (1987) David DiBiase started this project when he acquired detailed flight information about the Voyager flight – the first airplane to fly around the world without refueling. When the publisher of the book about the flight heard we had the data, they asked us to create the map for the book endpapers (thus the gap in the middle of the map: the left half was the front endpaper, the right half the back endpaper). The map was published in the hard cover version of J. Yeager and D. Rutan Voyager (New York: Knopf). The map won the 1987 R.R. Donnelly and Sons Map Design Competition. I had to scan the map in several pieces and there is some distortion where I photoshopped the pieces together.

Da Bomb

I created the University of Colorado at Boulder Campus Map (detail) (1988) mostly by myself as a UW Madison Cartographic Lab project:

University of Colorado at Boulder Campus Map (detail) (1988) The map was – amazingly I think – done with technical pens and ink. I traveled to Boulder to sketch and photograph each building on campus. Back in the lab, I had to develop a generalized sketch of each building – not too detailed but detailed enough to distinguish the building. Each sketch was then inked on mylar and cleaned up with an x-acto knife. I created the building windows by scanning the inked buildings into Adobe Illustrator (probably version 1.0!), creating the windows (not the buildings) then printed the windows really big, then reduced the printout in the darkroom, burned it on the same film we used for type stickup, and stuck them up. I also drew all the trees by hand (pen & ink again). This map was a tremendous amount of work. I doubt the map is used anymore, and here is a clickable WWW version that, at least in part, replaced it. Looking at the WWW map suggests to me that technology is providing us with more diverse media for mapping, but that the design of maps in these new media is often mediocre at best.

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